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Understanding statutory rape charges

Most people in Tennessee have an understanding that allegations of rape involve some type of forced sexual penetration. Statutory rape is a variety of this type of charge and generally involves the alleged victim being a minor under the age of 18. However, there are actually different types of statutory rape charges, each with unique definitions and potential penalties. If you or someone has been accused of statutory rape, it is important to understand the differences here.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, statutory rape is a Class E felony. As with rape charges, a statutory rape charge alleges that unlawful sexual penetration occurred between a victim and a defendant. It is important to note that the penetration may have been from the defendant to the victim or vice versa. Victims in these cases may be 13 or 14 years old with defendants that are four to nine years older. Alleged victims may also be 15 to 17 years old with defendants five to nine years older.

Aggravated statutory rape involves alleged victims between 13 and 17 years of age. In these cases, defendants are at least 10 years older. These charges are Class D felonies. Another Class E felony is mitigated statutory rape in which the alleged victims are 15 to 17 years old with defendants four to five years older than that.

If you would like to learn more about the various types and definitions of statutory rape offenses or other sex crime charges, please feel free to visit the statutory rape definitions page of our Tennessee criminal defense website.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association
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